verb (used without object), veg·e·tat·ed, veg·e·tat·ing.

  1. to grow in, or as in, the manner of a plant.
  2. to be passive or unthinking; to do nothing: to lie on the beach and vegetate.
  3. Pathology. to grow, or increase by growth, as an excrescence.

verb (intr)

  1. to grow like a plant; sprout
  2. to lead a life characterized by monotony, passivity, or mental inactivity
  3. pathol (of a wart, polyp, etc) to develop fleshy outgrowths

c.1600, “to grow as plants do,” perhaps a back-formation from vegetation, or from Latin vegetatus, past participle of vegetare “to enliven, to animate” (see vegetable (adj.)). Sense of “to lead a dull, empty, or stagnant life” is from 1740. Related: Vegetated; vegetating.

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